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My Approach to Playing As the Director of Football on FM20

I’ve had a few people ask me how I have set up my game so that I can take a back seat from management and continue as the Director of Football at Stade Rennais. Because of this, I thought it would be easier to just write a short post about my set up.

I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary, and I’ve not used some secret hidden option, but there are a few things I’ve done to ensure I can obtain the highest level of realism as possible.

Some Background Chat

Playing Football Manager 2020 has been great fun, but after winning the Champions League with Stade Rennais there was no higher place I could take the team. We were only 10 seasons in, however, so I wasn’t quite ready for the save to end there.

I had a quick chat with Samo who did something similar last year to keep his save alive, and so the idea was reborn. For those who follow my saves, you’ll know that I usually hand off everything to my staff, signing players and contracts, organising scouting, finding staff for the reserve teams etc. so it’s a bit of a change for me to now take this on.

Over the ten years at Stade Rennais I had accumulated a lot of very good young players, as is standard in any save. The players were progressing really well. So well in fact, that I wasn’t quite ready to give up on them yet. In previous editions of the game, I had retired and holidayed 10 years into the future to see how the AI managed the team.

Invariably what would happen is all my players would be sold and the AI would spend obscene amounts on new players. I don’t think this is especially realistic, so I decided to move upstairs into the Director of Football role and hire a new Manager to manage the team for me.

How to Appoint the Manager

In order to make this work, I used the in-game Editor to become unsackable.

Since it is impossible to play as the Director of Football, I would need to keep myself as the Manager in the game, but if the new AI Manager I appoint did badly, then the board would sack me. I couldn’t have this. So by making myself unsackable, I would just replace the Assistant Manager if he didn’t live up to my expectations.

With the in-game editor whenever you view a staff member you can select the editing tool (top right) and then select to move the selected staff member to your club.

Edit a staff member with the in-game editor
Edit a staff member with the in-game editor

I wanted to move an actual Manager to my club, rather than an Assistant Manager as I felt this was more realistic. Once I had found the Manager I wanted to take over from me, it was just a case of moving him to my club. The game automatically moves the existing Assistant Manager out of the club.

The new Stade Rennais manager
The new Stade Rennais manager

Should Wolf fail to live up to my expectations, for example, we have a dreadful season in the league, then I will sack him myself and replace him with a new, available Manager. Since I’ve made myself unsackable (as I have to be the actual manager in game) my position at the club will always be safe. This is the only way I can guarantee the board don’t take out their frustrations on me.

Changing the Game Settings

Once I have the new Manager in position as the Assistant Manager, I need to update the game settings to make sure I’m not taking on any Managerial roles that I don’t believe I should be doing.

Scouting

I set all scouting responsibility to myself. In my games I’ll usually leave this to the Chief Scout to handle, but from now on, I’ll be scouring the globe for players who fit the Stade Rennais profile.

Scouting responsibilities
Scouting responsibilities

Transfers and Contracts

Again, another thing I usually delegate to the Director of Football is negotiating and finalising player transfers. I switch this back to myself to take full control.

Transfer and contract responsibilities
Transfer and contract responsibilities

I will find and make offers for the players, so Wolf will be more of a traditional European coach, who coaches the team while I sign the players for him.

Tactics and Training

Both handed over to Wolf. I will no longer get involved with developing the players. I will look to bring in the great young players with potential but will delegate the responsibility for growing these players to Wolf.

Training responsibilities
Training responsibilities

Match Day

The biggest day in the calendar. Match day. To ensure I don’t have any say in team selections and to give Wolf full control, on match day I holiday forward one day with the following settings.

Holiday options
Holiday options

With these settings he will use his tactics with his team selection. I’ll usually go back and watch the highlights to see how we play, but with these settings he receives all the praise from the media for managing the team.

Wolf is impressing the French media
Wolf is impressing the French media

Conclusion

This isn’t perfect, I know, but it’s the best I can do with the options available to me. I’m really enjoying looking more in detail at the financial side of the club, trying to bring the wages back under control after the previous Director of Football oversaw a huge increase in weekly wages with contract renewals and new player signings.

This is a different challenge while also getting to enjoy the development of the youth players I had brought in and helped to develop.

As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, or via twitter @fmfutbolmanager.

Until next time, à tout à l’heure.

Oliver Jensen

Please leave me a comment below.

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